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California Marijuana Legalization Measure Has Nine-Point Lead in Latest Poll

Submitted by Phillip Smith on (Issue #650)
Drug War Issues

Proposition 19 pot legalization initiative leads 47%-38% in the latest Public Policy Polling survey of likely voters. That's good, but not great, news for the campaign.

Good because nine points is a nice cushion six weeks out from election day. But not great because Prop 19 is still polling under 50% when it needs 50% plus one vote to win and because the race is closer than in the previous Public Policy Polling survey in July, when it led 52%-36%.

The poll is an automated phone survey of 630 likely voters, with a margin of error of +/- 3.9%. It took place last week.

victory in November? (chart from
Most, but not all recent polls, have shown Prop 19 leading. The Talking Points Memo Poll Average on Prop 19, which combines all the recent polls, has the measure leading 47.8% to 38.8%.

Telephone robo-polls have generated higher numbers than face to face interview polls, leading some observers to suggest some people may be more willing to embrace a controversial position like marijuana legalization in the facelessness of the robo-polls.

Prop 19 was supported by 74% of liberals, 47% of moderates, and only 27% of conservatives. 53% of men supported it, compared to only 42% of women, suggesting the campaign has not been able to overcome lackluster support in what it considers a key swing constituency.

Whites showed the strongest support at 49%, followed by blacks at 46%, Asians at 44%, and the large Hispanic electorate at 42%.

Six weeks out, victory appears tantalizingly within reach, but defeat cannot be ruled out. This sucker is going down to the wire.

Permission to Reprint: This content is licensed under a modified Creative Commons Attribution license. Content of a purely educational nature in Drug War Chronicle appear courtesy of DRCNet Foundation, unless otherwise noted.


PUFF - THE - M… (not verified)

If booze is legal and kills people and ruins lives ,then pot has to be ,so the law will no longer look foolish by keeping the far,far less harmful substance illegal !!  Plus the state needs the revenue now going to criminals to buy energy and much more .  Lead  the " Way " and the Nation will follow for certain .

Thu, 09/23/2010 - 12:18am Permalink
* Tommy "BONG'… (not verified)

In reply to by PUFF - THE - M… (not verified)


I want this for all the cats who went down for possessing a Plant that grows wild and has over 150 or more uses  that do not include catching a B-uuuuZZZ  !!  The time is way over due for people to Mello T.Fu** Out man , The country is too hopped up on caffeine , Stress and  other " prescribed uppers "  ,  just for openers !

This would allow Big Buds' to be the number One or two cash crop in Most of the USA , and help greatly with the thing we are lacking most , jobs in organic gardening ,not given to some other country !  You can not get anymore American then that PEOPLE !!!

      Gotta Go .. all this typing is causing My High To D i m  , I'll ADD to this LATER after I RoLL Medical ONE {:;>)--****

Thu, 09/23/2010 - 3:42am Permalink
Jim Bryant (not verified)

Remember people, California has the seventh largest economy in the world. This is like a big time nation doing this, and the great thing is it's in our own backyard.  If California does this, other states will surely can count on that!  Wooohooo, sanity may soon finally prevail!  And, the thing is just about all politicians want it to happen, they're just too afraid to associate themselves with the issue because of political blowback.  Think of the revenues generated, think of the savings in law enforcement -- now we can solve more real crimes like murders, rapes, arson, etc.  This ultimately is a bipartisan issue to be solved in a bipartisan way, but we all know the powers that be are not that all into bipartisanship these days and for sure wouldn't choose this issue to come together over.  Believe me, this is the only way for now to get this done.  I hope you are excited!  I'm donating again to the campaign immediately.


- Jim

Thu, 09/23/2010 - 12:42am Permalink
Cann_Do (not verified)

Article states: "Good [news] because nine points is a nice cushion six weeks out from election day. But not great because Prop 19 is still polling under 50% when it needs 50% plus one vote to win."


I have seen this statement in the news after previous polls, and it confuses me. My understanding is that the polls, such as this most recent one, offer a choice of "undecided" as a potential response. Thus, during polls like this one from PPP, the percentages of "Support" or "Oppose" NEVER add up to one hundred.


BUT, during the actual vote, there is no "undecided" on the ballot. So, one side or the other is gonna get greater than 50% of the vote, right? Isn't it impossible for there to be less than 50% for both support and oppose? Thus, given that the YES on Prop 19 response has consistently polled higher than the "oppose" responders, we have every reason to expect that Prop 19 will garner greater than 50% of the vote... unless nearly every single "undecided" comes out in opposition to Prop 19, which is unlikely.


The accumulated poll numbers from all Prop 19 polls this year are available at polltracker website. I averaged the Yes vs No votes, determined the standard deviation and did a simple students T-test to determine if the Yes votes are statistically significantly greater than the No votes: Results --> Yes Votes so far (Avg, 48.44; S.D., 2.3) & No Votes so far (Avg, 42.67; S.D., 4.92). If the p value is < 0.05 then the Yes votes are significantly greater than the No votes. The calculated p value is 0.01., thus the Yes votes are statistically greater.

Thu, 09/23/2010 - 1:57am Permalink
Cann_Do (not verified)

In reply to by Clarify (not verified)

OK... this is looking good. The updated values from polltracker, including the latest SurveyUSA poll (0921) are here:


Yes Votes so far (Avg, 48.30; S.D., 2.21) & No Votes so far (Avg, 42.60; S.D., 4.65). 

There is very little change with the inclusion of the latest data, except the p value drops to a whopping 0.004!


This gives us increasing confidence that opinion is in our favor, and that the poll's results are not just due to random noise in the polling process on such a close issue... Now we just need to educate undecided, and encourage folks to actually turn out for the vote!


Get out the word... Get out the Vote!

Thu, 09/23/2010 - 11:54pm Permalink
captkeebz (not verified)

Don't get overconfident with these positive numbers, the election will be close and will rely on all Prop. 19 supporters actually showing up on election day. Do your part.

Thu, 09/23/2010 - 3:58am Permalink
dsgf (not verified)

In reply to by captkeebz (not verified)

Don't get overconfident with these positive numbers, the election will be close and will rely on all Prop. 19 supporters actually showing up on election day. Do your part.


If anything such numbers foreshadow a defeat. So yeah, don't be overconfident if you don't want it to pass. If you do, now is the time to hit the street and make your voice heard, because otherwise it just won't pass.

Thu, 09/23/2010 - 2:59pm Permalink

 Ganja Granny Arlene sez ALL eyes are on California. Everyone is depending on supporters in California to vote in November.This will be a great turning point for all concerned. We can't expect someone else to do it! We are someone else! I live in NYC. I was born in 1937 the year of prohibition & I am a 3rd stage Breast Cancer survivor. We want it Legalized NOW here and everywhere in this universe. There is absolutely no prejudice in Cannabis. Everyone is included. Your vote will make the change we want.  

Thu, 09/23/2010 - 11:36am Permalink
Clarify (not verified)

Okay, hypothetically, let's say there are 1,000 potential voters in California.

Let's also that that, for whatever reason, 200 decide to abstain and not vote on Proposition 19.

Amongst the 800 that do vote on it, 450 vote in favor while 350 oppose.


This would mean that 56% of people that voted on the issue voted yes.  However, it also means that only 45% of total voters voted on it.


My question is, in order to win, does it need 51% of all votes or 51% of the votes on this issue alone?

Thu, 09/23/2010 - 1:30pm Permalink
borden (not verified)

In reply to by Clarify (not verified)

It needs more people to vote for it than vote against it. If people abstain from voting on that question, they have no effect on its final outcome. (Which is probably good for us.)

Thu, 09/23/2010 - 2:10pm Permalink
Brinna (not verified)

In reply to by dsgf (not verified)

Actually,  dsgf, when folks say they are undecided it's generally because they have decided not to share what they really believe with the pollster.

In the voting booth the truth comes out. So, I'm saying it looks like it will pass.

Thu, 09/23/2010 - 8:15pm Permalink
maxwood (not verified)

You can be sure the prohibitionists have roomfuls of media spies watching for a likely atrocity story-- anywhere, any time shortly before November 2-- to pounce on and play up for big headlines.  Like a traffic accident, or a suicide, or abuse of a child, associated with someone having had a toke previously.  They are calculating to weave cunning confusions of correlation and causation. 


Might be smart to be ready with brilliantly effective reminders that alcohol produces over 10,000 traffic deaths a year, over 10,000 murders a year, AND that "a $igarette or two" is favored self-premedication #1 for emboldening a drunk to drive, helping an angry drunk remember to take the gun along, or creating the "courage" to perpetrate a titillating but horrible sexual transaction.

Fri, 09/24/2010 - 5:34pm Permalink
Heftman (not verified)

"I'll be back" (Arnold Schwarzenegger talking privately to the powerful anti-marijuana groups last year while he publicly indicated support for legal reform of the marijuana laws in California). "Hasta la vista" (reply to Governor Schwarzenegger by aforementioned power-groups).

Sat, 09/25/2010 - 10:12am Permalink
D Br (not verified)

If old people would just die, we could have a decent place to live.

We could have pot and cheap health care.

Financial problems solved...

Sat, 09/25/2010 - 7:04pm Permalink
KJ (not verified)

In reply to by D Br (not verified)

'fraid not, D Br....sounds like you suscribe to the "soylent green" solution.  Might look good to you now but you too will grow old one day.  Being an "oldie" myself, I take offense at age stereotypes. It's a prejudice just like racism, gender bias and bigotry. I may be retired but I'm still smokin'....

Sat, 09/25/2010 - 7:30pm Permalink

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